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Young Readers

They’re Not Toys

And another from the Festival of Books — in a similar vein, perhaps. This is the Isle of Misfits series of novels for young readers, written by Jamie May and illustrated by Freya Hartas. The first book, appropriately called First Class, goes like this: “Gibbon is a gargoyle who has been unable to sit still for hundreds of years. One day, he leaves his post from the castle he was meant to be guarding, and a person sees Gibbon, he panics and runs away. As Gibbon is sadly walking back, he meets three gargoyles who bring him to an island filled with other legendary creatures. There, he goes to a special academy that will train him to go on missions to protect all sorts of mythical creatures who are in trouble. Excited to go and happy that he won’t be lonely anymore, Gibbon is also nervous to go some place where he doesn’t know anyone. Will he be able to make friends in this new place? Find out in this new and exciting creature-filled series, complete with a hilarious cast of characters such as a clumsy dragon, an ill-tempered fairy, a griffin with poor flying skills, and a yeti with a manbun!” Four books in the series are available now from Simon & Schuster.

image c. 2019 Simon & Schuster

Be Careful What You Wish For

At this year’s Los Angeles Times Festival of Books we came across an illustrated children’s book called If I Had A Gryphon, written by Vikki Vansickle — and our eyes were caught by the colorful illustrations of Cale Atkinson. “Sam just got a hamster for a pet. But the hamster is kind of boring … he just eats and sleeps and gets his shavings wet. Inspired by her book of mythological creatures, Sam longs for a more exciting pet. But she soon realizes that taking care of these magical beasts might not be as wonderful as she thought. Sasquatches are messy, unicorns are shy, hippogriffs scare the dogs at the dogpark, and having a fire extinguisher handy at all times makes dragons seem like an awful lot of work. In the end, Sam realizes that her hamster is a pretty sweet and safe pet … or is he?” You can find out more at Penguin Random House.

image c. 2019 Penguin Random House

New Adventures Brought Together

Boom! Studios recently collected two different comic book series of furry note (both of which we’ve talked about before!) into trade paperbacks. Ruinworld: Eye For An Eye brings together issues 1 through 5 of this funny animal fantasy series by Derek Laufman. “Join Pogo and Rex as they set out on a quest to hunt for valuable artifacts and magical weapons across the land. Along with plenty of not-always faithful companions, our heroes must battle dangerous tribes of Toadies, survive giant stone Golems, and stop a catastrophic world-ending disaster, all while evading a cunning gang of thieves as they race towards the biggest treasure of all time.” And then there’s Midas, a truly strange 8-issue science fiction series by Ryan North, Braden Lamb, and Shelli Paroline. “Space captain Joey, navigator Fatima, and scientist (and dinosaur) Cooper are headed to Earth—a planet completely sectioned off, abandoned, and covered in gold—and are confronted by the most powerful weapon in the universe: Some ancient dead guy’s body?! Now they gotta keep King Midas’s body from being dropped on planets across the universe, and figure out exactly what to do with a gross dead dude with one truly ridiculous superpower.” Yes, and a talking dinosaur too. Both collections are available now.

image c. 2019 Boom! Studios

A Disney… Classic?

Okay, how did we miss this one? Disney Hamlet, Starring Donald Duck, a new full-color graphic novel written by Giorgio Salati and illustrated by Paolo De Lorenzi. “The ghost of a betrayed king appoints Prince Ducklet to restore peace to his kingdom in this adaptation of the classic tragic play by William Shakespeare. Huey, Dewey and Louie, along with Uncle Scrooge, head on a road trip to Denmark, passing by the famous landmark–the phantom castle of Ducksinore! The triplets recall the story of Ducklet, written by the celebrated playwright William Duckspeare. Scrooge’s interest is piqued and the story of tragedy, betrayal, and corruption unfolds.”  Published by Dark Horse Books in trade paperback, it’s available now from Penguin Random House.

image c. 2019 Dark Horse Books

Dig The Rock

Non-human adventures on a far-0ff planet. Sounds right up our alley. Glint is a new full-color graphic novel series for middle readers, written by Samuel Sattin and illustrated by Ian McGinty (Adventure Time). “On tiny Mora ― hurtling through space trying to find a star bright enough to sustain its fading life―everyone must do their part to keep the planet alive. Workers work. Leaders lead. Fighters fight. But Loon Ozoa, confined to the life of a pit worker but born with the heart and passion of a warrior, dreams of enlisting in the Temple of Sacred Defense and fighting the monstrous Feeders that threaten his people’s existence. When his friend Val Mol, second in command of the Rightful Blade, promises Loon a place in his ranks, Loon hopes to finally serve a higher purpose. But his hoverhog-riding, glint-slinging, mine-master grandma and her motley crew―the Cloud Raiders―are none too pleased about Loon trading in his drill rig for a shift sword. Determined to serve Mora, Val and Loon’s place in the military soon gets them lurched right into the murky waters of a conspiracy, one that holds dark secrets at the hands of their supreme regent. Will Val and Loon remain loyal to their commander, or will the secrets they uncover change everything they thought they knew about the purpose of their fight and fate of their planet?” The Hollywood Reporter actually did a write-up on this one. Glint Book One: The Cloud Raiders came out earlier this year from Lion Forge, and more volumes are on the way.

[Side note: We at InFurNation would like to extend our thoughts, prayers, and a good share of tears to the staff of Kyoto Animation — those who lost their lives and those who did not. Bright Blessings in this time of tragedy.]

image c. 2019 Lion Forge

They’re Binding Him With Science

Comic publisher Humanoids have a new all-ages imprint called BIG, and the first publication from it is called Bigby Bear. “A series of vignettes on imagination, science, mathematics, and the life of our planet…shared from the perspective of a curious bear and his furry, forest-dwelling friends! Bigby Bear lives peacefully in the lush mountains where he was born. Struggling to figure out nature and its elements, Bigby engages in silly experiments of all kinds. Accompanied by his loyal rabbit friend, he gives us the secret to living a happy, simple life: To follow your curiosity, and make friends along the way.” Written and illustrated by Philippe Coudray, Bigby Bear is available now in hardcover.

image c. 2019 BIG

This Guy’s Got Class

Here’s a new full-color graphic novel we discovered thanks to Previews: Mr. Wolf’s Class.From Eisner Award-–winning creator Aron Nels Steinke, a vibrant, funny new series that charmingly captures the everyday antics of a fourth–grade classroom! Mr. Wolf has just started teaching at Hazelwood Elementary. He wants the first day of school to go well, but he’s got his hands full with his new class. Some of his students include: Margot, who is new in town and is trying to make friends. Sampson, who brought something special to school for show-–and-–tell. Aziza, who just wants everyone to be quiet and do their work. And Penny, who is very sleepy because she has a new baby brother at home, goes missing!” Look for it in hardcover over at Scholastic. Oh,  and makes sure to check out the sequel, Mr. Wolf’s Class: Mystery Club.

image c. 2019 Graphix

 

Can’t Stop The Rock

Archaia has a special edition reprint you should know about — with a long title! See what’s happening down at Fraggle Rock… “It’s the annual ‘Splish-Splash Friend Bash’ at Fraggle Pond and all of Fraggle Rock is invited! But when a few bullies decide to crash the party, Gobo, Boober, and the other Fraggles will have to look out for one another and come up with a plan to help everyone get along. Written and illustrated  by Jay Fosgitt (Bodie Troll), Jim Henson’s Fraggle Rock: The Rough Side of the Rock celebrates Jim Henson’s timeless television series with an inspiring story of acceptance and friendship for fans of all ages.” It’s issue #2 of Archaia’s Fraggle Rock comic, but now it’s in a premium hardcover picture book format. Check out the preview over at Graphic Policy. (Happy 4th!)

image c. 2019 Archaia

The Ponies Carry On

Whoa there! This flew beneath our radar… so it’s time to catch up! As of course you’ve heard (herd?), My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic will be leaving us after this season. (Sniff…) But do not lose hope! It looks like Equestria shall live on… in the pages of IDW comics anyhow.  And they’ve been doing a good job of it so far! Now they’ve decided to celebrate the 75th issue of their flagship series My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic with a special double-sized issue — celebrating the return of original MLP comic writer Katie Cook to the family. “My Little Pony celebrates 75 issues of friendship and fun with this double-sized adventure! When a chance purchase leads to a legendary quest for a missing constellation, the ponies reach for the stars and find themselves in the path of their most galactic villain yet… the chaotic Cosmos!” Illustrated by fan favorites Andy Price and Heather Breckel, it’s on the shelves now. And hey, while you’re at it, make sure to look for My Little Pony: To Where and Back Again, written by Justin Eisinger and illustrated by various artists. It’s part of a new series of trade paperback graphic novels from IDW, illustrating favorite episodes of the TV series — in this case, the popular finale of Season Six.

image c. 2019 IDW Publishing